July 4, 2014
Owen, age 12
My oldest daughter, Meagan, shared this picture on Facebook of her and three of her siblings in 2010 with this comment:
currently my favorite picture of all time. i wish jack was old enough at the time to get in on this, its just so darn cute. me and my lifelong friends. so thankful that i get to live and grow with my best friends
August 2010–we had just moved to this house a week before after a five-day, cross-country trek. In the back: Brenna (7 1/2) and Meagan (10). In the front: Owen (8 1/2) and Nora (4). Jack was a month old.
And here’s the most recent pic I have of all five of them together at Owen’s 8th grade graduation in June.
From left to right: Nora (1o), Owen (14), Jack (almost 6), Meagan (almost 16) and Brenna (13).
Here’s what else Meagan had to say about her siblings:
ive been around these kiddos forever. no matter who walks in n out of my life, these fuckers are the ones who will always stick. i dont even want to think of us all starting our own lives and separating. its scary. ive lived with them my whole life, i hate to think one day i might have a hard time getting ahold of them because we let distance or time get in the way
This from a girl that has always said she hates being at home because there are too many people in the house and she can’t stand any of us. I guess she’s getting wise in her “old” age.
I look at the second picture and can hardly believe these are my kids. Three teenagers–two of them in high school in the fall. Am I old enough to have a sixteen-year-old? When I think about them, I still picture those little kids in the first picture.
Or like this:
Brenna (15 months), Meagan (3 1/2) and Owen (2). So little.
Meagan as a nerd.
Owen as a zombie
Brenna as a zombie
Nora as a hippie (all clothes the girls own, I love that top)
Jack as Tigger (wearing the same costume the other 4 kids wore their first time out trick or treating)
The kids: Owen (10), Jack (15 months), Brenna (almost 9–next week) and Nora (5 1/2). Meagan took off with her friends before I could get one of all 5 kids.
My little history post got me thinking about Halloween and how I can still pretty easily remember what the kids wore each year thanks mostly to the pictures. It’s a lot to remember, though. Five kids over 11 years of costumes. So this post is to put those memories to words and pictures.
And to show off my awesome costume making skills. Enjoy.
Halloween 2000: Meagan was only 4 months old and I was so sick with the flu I couldn’t talk. But the weather in Chicago was GORGEOUS. I mean I don’t recall ever having weather like that when I was a kid. Heck, when I was growing up you bought or made costumes 4 sizes too big because you had to fit your heavy winter coat (and, sometimes snowpants) under it. But in 2000 it was in the upper 60s and my neighbors were passing out candy so I dressed Meagan in this orange shirt we bought her at the GAP. Yes, I remember the shirt exactly (it had little pictures of pumpkins printed on the front with one square made of that ridged material that creates the illusion of movement…or, in this case, makes the scratchy noise that entertained her for hours as a baby). I remember this because Jack still wears that shirt. We bought it earlier that month on the sales racks for like $4 along with a yellow one (it had a duck on the front). I regret with all my heart we were too broke to buy more because 11 years and 4 kids later they are still being worn. The printed pictures have worn off but the fabric is in perfect condition. Anyway, we sat outside with the neighbors for an hour or so.
Halloween 2001: Meagan had just turned 16 months and Owen was turning 1 month the next day. We got Meagan the Tigger costume. One of those cheesy one piece outfits that has a picture of the character on the stomach. But it was cute and cheap and Meagan was only one so what would she care, lol. Hubby had to work so I pulled out our brand new double stroller and dressed Meagan up as the cutest Tigger ever and put the orange shirt on Owen (and, to show how much bigger he is than the girls–the 6-12 month size shirt fit him at 1 month the way it fit Meagan at 4 months, lol). We just walked up and down our block and a neighbor girl took Meagan up and down the stairs to get her candy. Then we went home. I was exhausted just with that.
Halloween 2002: Meagan was 2 and Owen was 13 months (minus 1 day). This was the most hilarious Halloween ever. Initially I had no plans to take the kids out, what with me being 9 months pregnant with Brenna and all, but hubby happened to get off work early and was kind of upset that we weren’t going since he missed the year before. Then I remembered a costume that my mom had made me as a kid and dug it out of the box in the basement. Owen had to squeeze into the Tigger costume which is a 12 month size. At 13 months he was already wearing mostly 24month clothes so it didn’t fit. He was not amused. We went around the block with me carrying my 26lbs toddler and trying to help Meagan up and down steps. The stares we got were priceless. I’m sure some people wondered if my gigantic belly was a costume, especially with 2 toddlers in tow. It was kind of cool and I couldn’t even zip my coat up I was so huge. Brenna was born 8 days later.
Owen as Tigger, 13 months; and Meagan as Raggedy Ann, 2
Halloween 2003: Meagan was 3, Owen was 2 and Brenna was almost 1. This was another gorgeous Halloween. The weather was spectacular and I think it got into the 70s. We dressed the kids up and took them to Brookfield Zoo for the day. It was a blast but we missed the candy they hand out when it gets dark. Instead we went home and took the kids trick or treating around the neighborhood. Meagan was Raggedy Ann again because I didn’t have the time or energy or money to make her a new costume. She didn’t seem to care. Owen was Bob the Builder wearing his own overalls and his little tool kit and hard hat he got for his birthday earlier in the month. Brenna wore the Tigger costume which was a little big on her since at 12 months she was still wearing 9 month clothes (my kids are so very different it’s funny).
Meagan as Raggedy Ann (again), 3; Brenna as Tigger, 1; and Owen as Bob the Builder, 2
Halloween 2004: Meagan was 4, Owen was 3 and Brenna was going on 2. This was the year I decided to sew my own costumes. Yeah, somehow I managed to do that with 2 toddlers and a preschooler at home. I started by making Brenna a cute little clown costume but as soon as I got it done Meagan wanted one, too. So back to the fabric store I went for more fabric because it absolutely had to match, lol. Owen was a cowboy and I made him the duster to wear over his jeans and flannel shirt. His cousin happened to give him a pair of cowboy boots. I found the cowboy hat at Wal-mart. I spent a lot more on fabric and stuff to make the costumes than it would have cost to buy crappy ones at the store. But I wanted to be able to pass the costumes (and memories) down to my grandkids like the costume my mom made me when I was little. I got so many compliments on the costumes. Especially the duster. People were surprised to find out I made it. I was so proud. The weather also turned out fantastic again. We took the kids to the zoo in the morning and then trick or treating around the neighborhood when it got dark.
Meagan as a clown, 4; Owen as a cowboy, 3 and Brenna as a clown, almost 2
Halloween 2005: Meagan was 5, Owen was 4, Brenna was almost 3. We actually didn’t go out this year. We had moved to Pennsylvania and we were so broke. I started making Meagan a witch costume but I got sick. It ended up not being an issue because the town we lived in did trick or treating the Thursday before Halloween. That night it was like 40F and raining. And all three kids were sick (not as sick as me but were coughing and had runny noses). So we didn’t go out. They didn’t really seem to notice.
Halloween 2006: Meagan was 6, Owen was 5, Brenna was almost 4 and Nora was almost 7 months. This was our 2nd year in PA and the weather turned out much better on trick or treat night. The first year I thought the town’s celebration was screwy but it turned out so nice. At 6pm on the Thursday before Halloween the sirens went off and everyone came out. For 2 hours everyone trick or treated then at 8pm the sirens went off again and everyone went home. The police and volunteer fire department were out with lights flashing to keep order. I don’t remember being on any street that didn’t have a cop car going by. The weather was great and it was a lot of fun. On Halloween they did a little parade and costume contest for the kids. On Thursday it was like in the upper 60s that night. On Halloween it was only like 50F so it worked out great. I made the kids costumes again this year and got a lot of compliments along with stares and comments about me being out alone with 4 small kids, lol. Meagan was a witch, Owen was Batman, Brenna was a clown and Nora wore the Tigger costume.
Meagan as a witch, 6 years old
Halloween 2007: Meagan was 7, Owen was 6, Brenna was almost 5 and Nora was 18 months. We were back in Chicago this year. The weather was awful. I remember this was the year hubby took off work and it was freaking FREEZING. We had our winter coats and hats on and only made it a few blocks before everyone was miserable. There were barely any people out. So we headed home and were surprised to find my dad had ordered pizza. It was awesome to come home shivering to find our favorite steaming hot pizza waiting. Meagan designed her own costume and I made it. She was a devil. Owen wore this cheap-o Darth Vader costume. The kind of things you buy in a store. But someone had given it to us and it fit. Using the cape from his Batman costume and a plastic lightsaber he looked pretty good (he refused to get the mask). Brenna was a cowgirl wearing one of her own dresses and her cowboy boots. And Nora wore the clown costume I made for Brenna in 2003.
Meagan as a she-devil (designed by her), 7 years old
Halloween 2008: Meagan was 8, Owen was 7, Brenna was almost 6 and Nora was 2 1/2. All of the good weather we had those first years went away. It wasn’t super cold this year but chilly enough that the kids needed jackets. I went out with my friend and her three girls (who were 9, 7 1/2 and 20 months old). She really knew the best routes to go and we got so much freaking candy I didn’t know what to do with it all, lol (I ate most of it). Meagan threw a huge fit about wearing her costume to school and ended up not dressing up. She was like the only kid in uniform all because she was afraid they would make fun of her hippie costume. She looked absolutely adorable and my dad thought it was pretty good (that coming from someone that lived through the era) but I don’t have pictures because she refused to get dressed and stand for the photoshoot. She threw one of her patented tantrums and almost didn’t get to go trick or treating. Owen wore his Darth Vader costume again, Brenna wore the witch costume I made Meagan in 2006 and Nora was a mummy. I just made strips from some muslin I had and wrapped her up. She looked really cute but I didn’t have time to sew the strips together so it all fell apart by the time we got home.
Brenna as a witch, almost 6; Owen as Darth Vader, 7; and Nora as a mummy, 2 1/2
Halloween 2009: Meagan was 9, Owen was 8, Brenna was almost 7 and Nora was 3 1/2. Another cold year. I remember this year because I took the kids out along with my friend’s older two girls (who were 10 and 8 1/2) because her youngest (3) had swine flu. It wouldn’t have been bad but her oldest daughter has a mouth. We got about 3 blocks from their house and I almost took her back home because she made fun of Brenna repeatedly for her speech problems. Poor Brenna is just the sweetest, most caring kid ever and she can’t help the way she talks. She couldn’t understand why an older kid was making fun of her. A 10yo making fun of a 6yo. That’s just wrong. But we kept going despite how annoying this kid is. I love my friend and her kids but she can be so annoying. Owen didn’t go with us because an hour after he got to school I got a call that he wasn’t feeling well. When I went to pick him up he was white as a sheet and shaking like crazy. It was our first case of the flu for one of the kids. Poor kid. He ended up passing out candy on Halloween because he was feeling a little better but not well enough to be out in the cold all night. And that was after I worked really hard on his costume. He was going to be a SWAT guy. I made the vest for him and it turned out really good. Meagan was a rock star, I believe, using her own clothes. But she threw a huge fit so I have no pictures of her again. Brenna wore the hippie costume (with a slight change from what Meagan chose) and Nora wore the clown costume I made Brenna in 2006.
Brenna as a hippie, almost 7
Halloween 2010: Meagan was 10, Owen was 9, Brenna was almost 8, Nora was 4 1/2 and Jack was 3 1/2 months. It was our first year in Washington so I didn’t know how things were going to go but everything turned out great. Our neighborhood is so friendly and quiet. There were tons of kids out. Meagan opted to go out with her friend, Jamie, and her sister and cousin. It’s the first year I allowed one of the kids to go on their own (they went sans parents). The rest of us started out with Owen’s friend Connor and his dad and sister (Teagan, Nora’s friend). But the kids were getting too far ahead for Nora so Owen and Brenna went off with them. Me, hubby, Nora and Jack in the stroller took our time just walking around our loop. That was enough for me. Meagan was a rock star. Her friend did up her hair and makeup (it was crazy). Owen was an old man wearing some clothes I picked up at the Salvation Army when I was in college. Brenna wore the devil costume with some stretch pants underneath. She looked really cute. Nora wore the witch costume from 2006 and Jack had on this cute Halloween jammies my niece found him at a yard sale and a pumpkin hat I knitted him up real quick the night before.
Owen as an old man, 9; Nora as a witch, 4 1/2; Brenna as a devil, almost 8; and Meagan as a rock star, 10
I’m not sure what the kids are going to be this year. The odds are nerd, hippie and baby are going to come up. They have to make do with what we have on hand and they’ve outgrown all the costumes I’ve made over the years. Jack is going to wear the Tigger costume just like all the other kids. Last year I was afraid it wouldn’t fit him but he ended up being small like the girls were so, even though he is 15 months, the 12 month costume will still fit him. Hopefully the weather will be nice this year like last year (the kids just wore light jackets).
We actually had one of those rather pleasant days that seem too far between.
Slept in. Decided to go out to breakfast. Waited in line at Elmer’s for like 40 minutes to get a table big enough to seat our family of 7 (always sucks). Had delicious food. Drove around for awhile in a fairly quiet car (kids were preoccupied with their DSs). Stopped at Target and found some shirts for me, hubby, Jack and Meagan sneaked one in some how. Stopped at Home Depot to look for weed & feed for the yard. Got screws instead. Saw a dryer on sale for like $270 because it had a huge dent in the control panel, thinking about getting it. Stopped at Costco to get get a few things (me and the kids stayed in the car–they drove me nuts so I sat in the bed of the truck). Went home. Hubby grilled steaks, I put away groceries and cooked side dishes. Owen cleaned out the truck, vacuumed the interior. Brenna unloaded the dishwasher. Meagan made herself scarce until the chores were over. Dinner was delicious. Kids took showers without fighting. Owen got his hair cut on the back patio (looks so different now). Kids did their reading and went to bed without a fight. Stayed up a little watching TV with hubby before he went to bed around 10pm. I finished up 2 of my challenges but too tired to work on anything that needs actual thought. Watched Return of the Jedi. Now I’m going to bed.
I, personally, like him with the long hair. He’s grown it all the way down to his shoulders before (when he was in kindergarten). But he gets really hot in the summer so it’s more comfortable to just buzz it all off. In the past I’ve just done it all one length (1/2-3/4″) because it’s easier. Hubby was doing his hair this time, though, and did only the sides to 1/2″. We tried to convince him to keep it that way (long in the middle, shaved on the sides) but he refused.
I thought he looked cute but he needed the middle section a little shorter but wouldn’t stand still for that so we used the longest guide for the clippers (1″) on the top then I took over to fade the back and decided to do the sides really short. I think he looks really weird to me (besides the fact that he has a HUGE head and looks weird with his hair shaved off) because I did his “sideburns” straight across. Normally I leave the hair there in a point (little mock-sideburns) but he kept moving when I was trimming them and I clipped the one side too short so just said, “screw it”.
His hair grows really fast so by the time school starts up in August it will be down to his ears already. I think the last time I cut it was in late January/early February.
So, see, it grows pretty darn fast to go from the above picture in April to the first one which I took earlier this month. He’s such a looker. I’m already having trouble with the girls and him. And he won’t be 10 until October. My 11yo (well, she’ll be 11 next Tuesday) daughter’s friends all have crushes on him despite the fact that he’s 1-2 years younger than them. He still looks weird with his hair that short, lol. Wonder what the girls will think.
My favorite hair he had was this:
He was 6 1/2 and in kindergarten when I took this picture. That day his idiot cousin (who was 16 and should have known better) started teasing him about his hair saying he looked like a girl. A week later he begged to have it cut. Sigh. He spent all school year growing it out, too.
Another gorgeous Saturday up here in the Pacific Northwest (see, it doesn’t always rain). It was in the 80s today in beautiful Vancouver, WA so we all got in the car to go for a drive… naturally. We ended up in some Oregon ocean side town (don’t remember which one). It was a nice drive. We went through the Tillamook State Forest which was absolutely gorgeous. We finally had to stop to use the bathroom and ended up at the rest stop just outside the western border of the park. There was no one else there and this place was pristine and so beautiful. The kids wanted to explore but hubby wanted to get back on the road but the kids found a little path down to a creek flowing through the area. It was very pretty and serene. You didn’t even notice the road going over a few feet away. Like a little hidden piece of paradise.
After taking pictures we went for a little walk along the cliffside. It was very pretty but without a pack to carry Jack we couldn’t go far. The path was too narrow and steep for the stroller and Jack is too heavy and squirmy to carry him far. But I got some good shots of the kids climbing on some trees.
After our little hike the older three kids decided to climb down to the beach. There was no easy way down there so hubby and Nora stayed up above with the stroller and Jack. While I nearly broke my neck climbing down after the kids. But I got pictures of them playing in the ocean.
After our little excursion we got back in the car and drove all the way down to Newport, OR. Then after having dinner at some pizza place we drove over towards Corvallis, OR (where my brother lives) and then joined up with I-5 and headed home. By then Jack was really fussy. He wanted OUT of his carseat. We stopped at Wal-mart in Vancouver, though, to pick up some groceries and got home at like 10pm. Way past Jack’s bedtime. But he wanted nothing to do with bed. Eventually he just crashed on the living room floor, lol. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be just as nice but we’re going to stick closer to home and explore the riverfront in Washougal or go up to Lacamas Lake in Camas (the town next to us).
Oh, I also got these pics:
I LOVE this pic. This is Mt. Hood taken from the I-205 bridge crossing from Washington into Portland, OR. So pretty. This is what we see every time we drive home from Vancouver. We drive east on Highway 14 and this is the view you get. In fact you can see the mountain from the playground down the street from our house and you could see it from our porch if the house and some trees across the street weren’t in the way.
When we go into Vancouver we can also see Mt. Adams and Mt. Saint Helen. I love it here. It’s so beautiful.
The weather was gorgeous today in SW Washington. I think our high got near 70F and it was sunny. All the kids in the neighborhood were out in shorts, sun dresses, flip-flops drawing with chalk in the street (yes, street…the only traffic on our loop are people that live here).
It was so nice my older son, Owen, asked to take the baby, Jack, outside. I was like, “knock yourself out.” But I wasn’t sure how Jack would take to the grass in our yard. My other kids HATED grass their first time out. I got him dressed and Owen took him into the sunny backyard to explore.
The boys enjoying the nice weather: Owen (9 1/2) and Jack (9 months).
And, yeah, our yard needs mowed. I was going to do it this afternoon but I was feeling really crappy. I almost got the mower out and let Owen do it. He did it once last summer and enjoyed it but he didn’t get it very even. I just cut it a couple weeks ago. It’s hard to find a time to mow when it’s always raining or wet. Also makes the grass grow fast.
And a bonus of son #1: